Ok I am, as well as I’m sure you are tired of hearing about, talking about, thinking about, and crying about the horrific beating the Bears put on the Falcons last Sunday. So I won’t take that “route” this time. Instead lets take a look ahead at the Philly game and what I believe we need to do to have an effective game plan.
Offensively: The Eagles have a great secondary and defensive line, so this game may not be the best place to totally unveil the “explosive” plays. Not to say that the Falcons shouldn’t take any deep shots, you have to, but that doesn’t need to be the basis of the game plan. We have to everything we can to bring the Eagles D up before taking the deep shots.
The way we do that is to Run run run!!!!! Micheal Turner had a decent day against the Bears and they actually have a good run D, unlike the Eagles. We need to take advantage of the Eagles weakest spot on defense, the linebackers. Lots of runs, play action and fast passes through the middle. Also don’t be afraid to get the quick twitch Jacquizz Rodgers’ feet wet with screens and curls. He will be a major match up problem for Phillies backers.
Matt Ryan has to do a much much much better job of getting the ball out quick, unless he really likes looking at the roof of the dome. Eagles DE Trent Cole is very good, unfortunately our LT Sam Baker is serviceable at best, so he will have his hands full. The middle of the Falcons O line will be in a tough spot as well against Cullen Jenkins and company, LG Justin Blalock is going to have to provide help to the young guns to his right. The only match up on the line I really feel good about is with pro bowl RT Tyson Clabo and DE’s Juqua Parker and Justin Babin.
Tony Gonzalez needs to have a big day as well. He matches up we against Philadelphia’s linebackers and safeties. Hitting him early and often underneath can help open up the deeper shots a little later in the game. It will draw the safeties down.
Defensively: This is where it gets ugly. With the speed that the Eagles have on offense and the woes that the Falcons have in the defensive secondary it could be a long day. Personally I don’t think it has to be as bad as one might expect. There are some things that I believe we can do to slow down their offense.
First and foremost we have to stop their biggest weapon DeSean Jackson. Thats impossible you say, he can’t be stopped! You are probably right! At least not without another knock out shot from Robinson. But I’d rather keep Dunta up right, we need him. What we need to is lock our best DB Brent Grimes on Jackson. Left side, right side, slot, where ever he is Grimes should shadow. I know that is not what we usually do, but he is our most athletic player in the back field and I feel he is actually a lot like Jackson, just not quite as fast. So he will need some help over the top from the safeties. Same thing with CB Dunta Robinson locked up on Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin. Leave the other WR’s for our nickel back, whoever makes the start there this week (please not Owens!).
Secondly, do not get too aggressive on the pass rush. The Eagles Offensive line is not the best, so you would say rush hard and get the sacks, It’s not quite as easy as it sounds. As we all know Mike Vick can make you pay if you miss, and we have a bad habit of missing the tackle on the rush. So what do we do? Mix it up! Rush only two or three sometimes, so we have more in coverage to give Vick smaller windows to throw the ball. He has never been the most accurate passer in the world. Blitz a corner and a linebacker off his blindside and drop the DE on the opposite side out into the flat to keep him contained if he runs. We have to be very creative, to keep him off balance and out of rhythm.
Finally theres HB LeSean McCoy. I think that our run D is solid and will be ok, as long as Weatherspoon wraps up on tackles. I worry that Andy Reid saw the Bears game and said wow! Look at what Forte is doing catching the ball, lets do that too! McCoy is another fast guy and is a problem for our backers to cover him in passing routes. I think that one thing we need to think about doing some, is coming out with three safety sets. We can do this in in some nickel and base situations to give us a better chance against their team speed.
GO DIRTY DIRTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!